This week we are proud to introduce Retrospectives (what is a Retrospective?), a new meeting type for Instant Agenda. You can read a functional description of the new Instant Agenda feature in this post.

For those familiar with our Agile roots, this should come as no surprise. Agile is in our DNA, and all of our meeting types are guided by Agile principles. However, retrospectives are special. They are the quintessential Agile practice.

Why the passion for retrospectives?

First, retrospectives are driven by the team. A retrospective is not a management activity. It is about the team self-organizing and self-managing to improve its own execution. Managers and coaches can provide support and ideas, or remove barriers, but they can’t improve a team directly – that is up to the team.

Second, any team, regardless of their level of Agility, can use retrospectives to improve. If you take retrospectives seriously, you will get better. Whether you are just starting out on an Agile journey, or have been doing it for years, retrospectives work. Even if your very first Agile sprint is a complete disaster, you can inspect what happened and make one or two improvements–the next few weeks will be a bit better than the previous few. If you’re already a highly performing team, there is always something small that can be improved even further.

Third, retrospectives are not so much a process, but the embodiment of Agile culture. And Agile is all culture. The exact agenda format (process) of a retrospective can be different every time. What is important is the mutual respect, courage, openness and commitment to improve.

We’ll have much more to say about retrospectives in coming weeks, but I wanted to let everyone know how much it means to us to be able to support this cornerstone of Agility.

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Michael Ball

Co-founder, Product Lead at Instant Agenda
Michael was born a squalling, helpless MVP and has struggled ever since to obtain product-market fit. Experiments have included Peace Corps volunteer, ops engineer, scrum master, product owner, agile coach, husband, father, armchair philosopher, and, most recently, lean startup founder. Michael is still working on his exit-strategy, but his earliest angel investors seem generally proud of his accomplishments.
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